Posted on Nov 09, 2023, 7 p.m.
Berries have a claim to fame as being some of the most healthiest foods that you can eat. Berries come in a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes but are typically small, round, and shades of blue, red, or purple. They make a great snack and can range from sweet to sour in taste and are often used in desserts, jams, and preserves.
Most berries pack a pretty healthy punch per bite as berries tend to have a very good nutritional profile, and are typically high in vitamin C, fiber, and anti-aging antioxidant polyphenols. Besides supplying a splash of vibrant colour and yummy taste, incorporating more berries into your diet may help to prevent and reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases.
Blueberries are among the popular choices of berries for many reasons such as being a great source of vitamin K and antioxidant anthocyanin polyphenols. One cup of blueberries contains 84 calories, 3.6 grams of fiber, 16% of the daily recommended value for vitamin C, 24% of the DRV for vitamin K, and 22% of the DV for manganese. They may assist in weight loss, help to reduce oxidative stress, lower the risk of heart disease, improve aspects of heart health, slow cognitive decline, and improve insulin sensitivity to help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Raspberries are a great choice for dietary fiber and anti-aging antioxidant ellagitannins polyphenols. One cup contains 64 calories, 8 grams of fiber, 36% of the DV for vitamin C, 8% of the DV for vitamin K, and 36% of the DV for manganese. They may help to reduce oxidative stress, improve heart health, reduce blood pressure, decrease blood cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.
Goji berries/wolfberries have been used as both food and medicine in traditional Chinese medicine, and they are becoming popular in the Western world. One ounce contains 98 calories, 3.7 grams of fiber, 15% of the DV for vitamin C, 42% of the DV for vitamin A, and 11% of the DV for iron. These berries also contain high levels of zeaxanthin, which is important to eye health, and the antioxidant polyphenols may help to increase metabolism and weight loss.
Strawberries may be the most common berry around the globe. One cup contains 46 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 97% of the DV for vitamin C, and 24% of the DV for manganese. Strawberries may help to reduce the risk of heart attack by reducing factors such as blood cholesterol, triglycerides, oxidative stress, inflammation, and blood sugar levels to improve heart health.
Bilberries are very similar to blueberries and are often confused. One ounce contains 43 calories, 4.6 grams of fiber, 16% of the DV for vitamin C, and 12% of the DV for vitamin E. They may help to reduce inflammation, and blood sugar levels, as well as lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol, and assist in weight loss to improve heart health and lower the risks of heart disease.
Acai berries are popular due to being rich in anti-aging antioxidant content. One ounce of puree contains 70 calories and 5 grams of fiber. These berries can contain 10 times more antioxidant polyphenols than blueberries. Acai berries can help to increase blood antioxidant levels, reduce oxidative stress, lower blood sugar levels, insulin, as well as blood cholesterol, and may help to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Cranberries may have a sour taste, but they are very healthy. One cup contains 46 calories, 3.6 grams of fiber, 16% of the DV for vitamin C, and 12% of the DV for manganese. They do contain antioxidant polyphenols, but most are in the skin. These berries are known to help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and help to reduce the risk of other infections. They may also help to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and stiffness of the arteries.
Grapes are actually berries and are a great source of anti-aging antioxidant polyphenols. One cup contains 104 calories, 1.4 grams of fiber, 5% of the DV for vitamin C, and 18% of the DV for vitamin K. Grapes may help to lower blood pressure, heart rate, blood cholesterol, and oxidative stress to improve heart health. They may even help to improve memory and driving performance.
Blackberries are loaded with beneficial vitamins, minerals, fiber, and anti-aging antioxidants. These low-calorie, low-carb, and low-fat berries may help fight cancer, prevent heart disease, help digestion, and boost brain health. One cup of raw blackberries contains 30.2 milligrams of vitamin C which is important for bones, connective tissue, blood vessels, wound healing, skin regeneration, and boosting the immune system. Blackberries also have a low glycemic index coming in at 25 GI, ratings of 55 or lower are considered less likely to spike blood sugar levels. One cup of these raw berries only has 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 14 carbs making them a great option for those looking for a more healthful snacking option.
Most berries are low in calories while being high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Most berries have been shown to carry health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and oxidative stress to improve heart health, assist in weight loss, and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. All of these benefits make it worth having a few portions a week as a healthy snack, dessert, or addition to any meal. Eating a few portions a week is fairly easy, you can try adding them to salads, use them as breakfast toppings, throw them in a smoothie or a yogurt parfait, or just grab a handful as a healthful snack.
This article was written by Tamsyn Webber at Worldhealth.net
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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